Retailing 101: stay sharp. The business is unpredictable, and the best way to stay ahead of the game is to stay sharp. We all know the saying about the word “assume”—no need to spell it out. The future is unknown, so it’s impossible to predict how things will go. The world of entrepreneurship is difficult, but we can help make things a little more manageable. Here are some things you should never assume in the retail business.
Business Will Stay Good
Sorry to say this, but a few good months doesn’t lead to a few more good months. Unfortunately, business ebbs and flows. When it’s good, it feels like it’ll stay that way. However, remember that the market is unpredictable. The economy could drop at any moment.
And when—not if—business slows, you need to have a plan so your business doesn’t take too much of a loss. Don’t get complacent because booming business won’t last. When you feel yourself getting too comfortable, expect the unexpected. Work on making your sales pipeline as strong as possible so the blowback is not disastrous.
There Is No Competition
There is always competition, and you should never assume you know better than them. Even if they’re newbies fresh to the business, they could be coming in with knowledge you don’t have. Maybe your business has had a great couple of fiscal years, and you have plenty of loyal customers. But sometimes people like a shiny new toy.
Don’t give them anything to marvel over. Remind your customers why they should remain loyal to you, and give your business a makeover while you’re at it. Don’t change the essence of your business, but find areas that could use some improvements and act on them. Customers will be enticed by the changes.
Shoppers Stay the Same
Shoppers don’t conform to one mode. People are subject to change just like businesses are. Assuming you know every kind of shopper is a fast way to miss out on business opportunities. Don’t place customers in a box because you’ll miss out on important marketing opportunities.
For example, there are a lot of myths about marketing to boomers. Many retailers assume they have this type of shopper figured out. But assuming will cut your business off from a large demographic, and you’ll miss out on sales.
Success Is Impossible
Consider this the other side of the first point. Just because business is not going the way you want it to now doesn’t mean it will stay that way. There are plenty of chances and opportunities to grow and improve. Don’t give up on your dream.
Exhaust every resource and idea you can think of, and find that one niche that makes things work. Success is possible, but you need to approach it differently. Look up tactics for improving sales or gaining loyal customers. Try out a few different ones and compare notes. Some will show more promising results than others. Never assume you know everything when it comes to retail business because so much will surprise you.